A fun-filled family event

Rosie, Daniel and Laoise Sheehan taking part in the sandcastle competition at the Ballyheigue Summer Festival
Rosie, Daniel and Laoise Sheehan taking part in the sandcastle competition at the Ballyheigue Summer Festival

Marisa Reidy

IF anyone knows how to put on a good show it's the organisers of the annual Ballyheigue Summer Festival and this year they didn't disappoint with record crowds flocking to the village for the week long celebration.

Now in its 12th year, the annual festival continues provide top class entertainment for the entire family - something that festival chairman John Healy says is the recipe for success.

"After 12 years, some people might think that a festival would run its course but we believe that because we offer a varied programme for children, teenagers and adults that it has now become a destination families year after year," he said.

This year saw record cross descend on the normally quiet village, particular on Sunday when hundreds enjoyed a packed programme of events - from bonny baby competitions and human drag racing to a puppet show, bouncy castles and the All Ireland Rock/Paper/Scissors championship.

The highlight, however, was the annual Tug of War competition which attracted unprecedented attention, Mr Healy said. On the day, the White Sands team won the men's' competition while the ladies from the Ballyheigue Resource Centre won the women's event.

"The Tug of War event was just unbelievable and the setting was perfect. Because it was on the sand competitors were really able to have strenuous, long pulls and with spectators on the steps and on the green it really felt like an amphitheatre setting," he said. ""What really amazed us this year was the fact that so many people came to Ballyheigue for the festival even though the weather wasn't the best. We had 19 people taking part in the long puck and we had to run two rounds of the egg toss, for example, just because there were so many taking part. We also had three fantastic nights in the festival marquee. The village was buzzing."

Paying tribute to all who supported the event once again this year, Mr Healy fully agreed with the old adage that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

"It seems to be that the simplest things work best and we certainly saw that this year," he said.


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